Monday, September 28, 2009

More Martians

Here are a few more pages of inks on the Martians Go Home project.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Animal Drawing

Yesterday my Animal Drawing Class returned to the Franklin Institute to do more animal drawings from the animals they have on display in their diorama's. This was our second trip and we were supposed to concentrate on heads and legs. Here is a bunch of sketches that I did, most in pencil but the water buffalo was drawn with a prisma color.
The displays are good, but the animals have the frozen look you have to try and overcome while drawing them. For me the best animal drawing by artists like Bob Kuhn have a life to them that makes them leap off the page. Just like drawings of the human figure, accuracy at the expense of life/energy just leaves me flat. next week we are supposed to hit the zoo to do more drawing from life.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week 5 Underway

Many things going on this week, the 5th week of the Fall semester. I just finished up the last little bits of DRAW! 18 and it's now in the able hands of my layout man Eric, and should be in stores by mid October I hope. I am inking up the end of the first issue of martians Go Home and teaching my three storyboard classes at Uarts which is going really well this semester. I have a great bunch of students this year which makes it fun to teach, even on the days when it gets really long--I have two days, Tues and Thurs that end up being about 14 hours worth of class. But the semester is going by quick!

I also got to put in a bit more work on the figure painting I have going on at PAFA in Renee Foulks class. It's a tough one, the model really has a hard time holding this pose during the session and from week to week a lot of things really change, so I end up repainting things a lot, the arms and hands, legs change every 20 minutes---in fact I have repainted parts of this dam thing every's a 6 week pose so I think we have one more week left and then we are done. Frankly I'll be glad, it's pretty frustrating--but in the end what doesn't kill me will hopefully give me something to talk away with, though I have been really tempted to put my fist through it many times. It's a grisaille and the values are really close in a lot the set-up and figure, so it's a very subtle painting that takes time to develop. am not really a picky painter, but this is making me be pretty picky.

Below is the cover for DRAW! 18 by the feature artist this issue, R M Guera the artist on Vertigo's Scalped, probably my favorite ongoing comic beside the issues of Hex drawn by Jordi Bernet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Week 4

Week Four has come and gone fast, hard to believe we are starting on the 5th week in some of my classes at PAFA, a quarter of the semester gone already. It's weird, I am super busy but don't feel like I've done much though. I am teaching a lot, a heck of a lot and I am drawing and painting but it seems like I am having little to show. I guess the holiday tossed wrench in too. This week I look forward to getting to really sit down and have at the paints. I came across this study for a painting from last semester while digging through some stuff. Below is one of my drawings from Animal Drawing this week, not a great drawing but the class went fast and I didn't get there on time. I just put the final touches on my article in the newest issue of DRAW! so I'll update everyone with the street date when I have it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Animal Drawing

Here are a few animal drawings, sketches really, that I did last week at the Natural History Museum on our class trip.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Week 3 --Go for Throttle Up! Daniel Sprick at PAFA

Boy, week three of the Fall semester was a doozie--we went Full Throttle this week! All of my classes were running at Uarts and so my Tuesdays and Thursdays are long 14 hour days of teaching and learning. It was also a very bitter sweat week as a long time friend Traci, lost her battle with cancer and funeral arrangements are pending. When things like this happen it really sharpens things even more, you notice your life more, the edges more, priorities more. Sometimes they do get screwed up and we fret and get blistered over things that are really not important. If a friends passing can give you something, as strange as it may sound--a better appreciation for the time you shared and that we should focus on the good, on life, on being positive--then they can give you something that makes living on after the sadness and mourning, a better experience, a richer more focused life. A few weeks ago we got to share some dinner and a few laughs and I will always cherish that memory.

One the opposite end of life, the up side, this week painter Daniel Sprick can to the Academy to give a talk on his work for the MFA program and to give a drawing demo. Sprick is one the the top realist artist working today, his beautiful and intricate still lifes, figures and landscapes have a magical quality about them, a sense of design and light that reminds one of Vermeer and Lopez. He is also such a great sharing and such unassuming person for such a talented artist that you can't help but like his work even more after meeting him.

That to me makes a huge impact when I meet an artist who's work I love or admire, if they are a great person as well an an artist--and it is great that the school facilitates these events for the students. Just like the Vincent Desiderio workshop I took last spring, the talk and demo by Sprick were both informative and inspirational--inspiration that will last a long while--it's a great charge on one's battery. As important as peeling back the veil is technically, that is a hallow exercise without intellect and poetry to guide it and during his slide show and talk and during his demo he talked a lot about these subjects as well as being an artist who's working every day and making his living at it and the gallery side of things.

Sprick did a portrait demo for us and my buddy Jole (A Dirty Palette Club Founder) volunteered to pose. That paid off nicely in the end as Sprick graciously gave Joel the drawing and signed it to him. Now one of the things I love to see is another artist at work. I guess it's like watching a great singer belt out a tune or a musician play a great song--it's so enjoyable and also a way to pick up ways of working and techniques--techniques in service of an idea, not just of techniques sake. Using Pitt Compressed Charcoal, the charcoal Sprick prefers (due to the fact it doesn't have a waxy binder so it releases better) he proceeded to start teh drawing by blocking in the large mass with a contour, he works very lightly and say to work as lightly as possible in the beginning.

Here Sprick talked about how often he would place a mirror to fill the shadows with a reflected light from the main light source, and he did try setting up a mirror next to Joel, but decided it didn't work for this drawing.

Sprick went back at the drawing lightly blocking in the masses, the entire mas then the shadow mass, then took a piece of paper towl and rubbed it all down, massing or compressing the tones, then he went back to working all over the drawing. he talked about how having a few sharp edges in a drawing can give it a PUNCH as so often we are to at school to never have sharp edges, to soften every edge. he pointed out where the hard edges were and indicated them then went back, establishing the core shadow and working into it and out of it.
he said that the eye lids and the nostril angle and shapes are a few of the key things that really help define the likeness of a person.

Working back and forth, all over Sprick brought up the drawing equally, he said that at any moment you might have to stop the drawing so you want the drawing to be 'complete' at every stage.

using a bit of spit he dabbed the tip of the white charcoal pencil to get it to deposit more charcoal onto the paper over the darker charcoal. He also pressed a kneeded eraser into a sharp point to pick out thighlights on the forehead, nose, cheek and mouth. he always keeps his charcoal sharp, often usinga grinder to make the charcoal long and sharp, like a spike. he talked about finding and angle on the figure, moving you charcoal, or whole arm over the angle on the figure then pulling that line, drawing it on the paper. he told us to work slow, to not rush, to only work as fast as you can be accurate and watching him you never felt he was rushing, it was very much like watching a slow dance, a slight line here, another longer time there, a scrumble across the entire mass...he seemed relaxed. he said he would sometimes employ a mall stick when drawing with charcoal to support his arm at getting angles or details. I watched him as he would angle his hand or arm to slowly, precisely draw in a eye or a nostril, adjust a contour or shape.

The thing that was sort of amazing is that it seemed that almost suddenly with a few dabs of the kneeded eraser he was done in what seemed no more than an hour, less than a hour of actual drawing time.

The final drawing of Joel.

While takinga break Sprick talked a lot about how it's too much responsibiluty as a single artist to try and change art, to find the things that you are interested in drawing or painting, and that dealers and galleries really often want you to just paint the same things over and over. if you sell a few still lifes, well they want more so they can sell those even if it's only one thing you might be interested in. Again he was really open to answering any questions. he did a few more quick sketches and then was off to give private critiques to the MFA students, and I have to say I was a bit jealous and wished I had my studio then to get him to give me a crit as well--but alas it won't be till next fall I get my 3rd year studio.

A great figure drawing Sprick did in the Thursday night drawing session we have at school every week. I was also really happy to hear Sprick say, and can see how he loved the work of Nicoli Fechin which you can see in the drawing here. Not a lot of teachers at PAFA like his work and they also tend to bang on artists who use photos as Sprick does for detail in his paintings, but he is never a slave to them and talked about that. So it was a great experience and so far worth my tuition this fall just for this experience alone. I am pretty pumped up and inspired and ready to tackle next week's classes!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Martians Go Home--INKS

Here are a few pages that I've inked up on MGH, I'm more than half way through inking the first issue. Most of the inking on these pages is done with a No. 4 brush and the ruling done with a Hunt 108 pen nib and a little Micron Pigma pen.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Fall Semester 09 starts--week 1

So the first full week of the fall semester at PAFA and it was a week that was good but seemed to rush by. I was very excited to start my painting class with Renee Foulks. The first assignment in the class is to do a grisaille painting, so I stared my small quicker study and then I'll do a larger one, the painting above was blocked out in basically one class.

My other classes met for the first time except for my animal drawing class which met for the second time. It was also the first Thursday for me teaching my two storyboard classes at Uarts, and man...that is a long day, i taught 14 hours that day, so my voice was kinda shot by the time I git done, but it looks like a good group of students.